Service innovation in emerging economies: an inclusive perspective

  • Angela Caridà
  • Maria Colurcio
  • Tiziana Russo Spena
  • Jay Kandampully
Keywords: service ecosystem; emerging economies; service innovation; sustainability; actors


Purpose of the paper: This research aims to examine the changing role of service innovation in emerging economies towards the more inclusive concept of service ecosystems. This perspective allows us to frame service innovation in emerging economies as a complex and dynamic system based on the interplay of social, economic and technological issues.

Methodology: We adopt a qualitative in-depth case study to explore in a real life, contemporary bounded system how service innovation occurs in complex service ecosystems, such as the urban contexts in emerging economies. The study was conducted using both documentary and field investigations. It focuses on the analysis of the urban context of Curitiba in southern Brazil, which is well recognised as the world’s leading liveable, green, and inclusive city.

Results: This study provides some evidence of how emerging economies could design and deliver sustainable service solutions to create service ecosystems. The research specifically emphasises the role of social, institutional and technological drivers that traverse all aspects of society and enable social changes and social practices to positively enhance and uplift the life of many people in society.

Research limitations: The main limitation of the study is the single case study, which does not allow generalisation of the results.

Practical implications: This paper offers new insights for designing and configuring practices for integrating available resources to enact sustainable and inclusive service innovation.

Originality of the paper: This study advances the ongoing conversation on service innovation in emerging economies by combining the service logic framework with an ecosystems perspective. It identifies and operationalises co-responsibility as a scalable and sustainable practice that is rooted in and nurtured by social values (sustainability, solidarity, inclusiveness), specifically with regard to emerging economies.


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